The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther Series #2)

The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther Series #2)

by Philip Kerr


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Hard-boiled detective Bernie Gunther takes on a depraved serial killer terrorizing 1930's Berlin in the second gripping mystery in Philip Kerr’s New York Times bestselling series.

In the sweltering summer heat wave of 1938, the German people anxiously await the outcome of the Munich conference, wondering whether Hitler will plunge Europe into another war. Meanwhile, private investigator Bernie Gunther has taken on two cases involving blackmail. The first victim is a rich widow. The second is Bernie himself.

Having been caught framing an innocent Jew for a series of vicious murders, the Kripo—the Berlin criminal police—are intent on locating the real killer and aren't above blackmailing their former colleague to get the job done. Temporarily promoted to the rank of Kommissar, Bernie sets out to solve the dual mysteries and begins an investigation that will expose him to the darkest depths of humanity...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142004159
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/28/2005
Series: Bernie Gunther Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 115,438
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 - 17 Years

About the Author

Philip Kerr was the New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Bernie Gunther novels, three of which—Field GrayThe Lady from Zagreb, and Prussian Blue—were finalists for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Kerr also won several Shamus Awards and the British Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Award for Historical Crime Fiction. Just before his death in 2018, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. As P.B. Kerr, he was the author of the much-loved young adult fantasy series Children of the Lamp.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"...a superb tour of Berlin on the edge of an abyss and a cynical, dashing leading man. —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Echoes of Raymond Chandler but better on his vivid and well-researched detail than the master." —Evening Standard

Customer Reviews

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The Pale Criminal (Bernie Gunther Series #2) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
The Bernie Gunther novels come out now with some regularity, but it must have seemed back in the beginning that it could be a short-lived series. The first three have been combined into one book- The Berlin Noir trilogy. But, I wanted to read them separately, so I have ordered them from libraries. I like the current series, obviously so much that I wanted more, but what a shock to meet the original Bernie Gunther. He's not the man of integrity we know now, nor is he a particularly nice guy. In current novels, he is not anti-Semitic, but more willing to interfere with those who are. In The Pale Criminal, he is more ambivalent. And much more of a homophobe. Gays figure in most Gunther novels, or so I remember, and Bernie's approach to them seems more worldly and human than the Bernie of The Pale Criminal, where queers disgust him and he cannot stand to be near two men kissing. In fact, it repulses him. And finally, this Bernie is a cold-blooded murderer. So I can only assume that Philip Kerr has decided to bring his character along a bit as the series continued. As it is, I would never have read a second Gunther novel had this been my first.
jamespurcell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kerr does an excellent job of characterizing pre WW2 Berlin. His characters are aptly and archly drawn so that their interactions blend naturally into the blighted environment that he has created. Which scene is an ugly, gritty recreation of the evolution of the Nazi mentality as it poisons its own nest before spreading into the rest of Europe.
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drh108 More than 1 year ago
I felt this book improved the series with intrigue that improved the drawing of characters. Fun read that leads nicely to the next book in the trilogy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Bernie is great and the story moved along in a very true to life setting. Good read.
silencedogoodreturns More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable. Sarcastic, hardhitting, hard-nosed detective; quite the scoundrel, but with a hidden heart of gold. Found it even more interesting than March Violets. The depravity of the Nazis that he describes is quite interesting in fleshing out the paper images one normally has of the time period. The suggestion that Hitler's thought process was possibly the result of him having venereal diseases is a nice twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago